Earlier this year, Ireland’s prime minister (An Taoiseach) Enda Kenny made an appeal to emigrants who had departed the country in the aftermath of the economic crash to return home. Speaking at the launch of an official government policy paper, ‘Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy’, the appeal was aimed at encouraging educated Irish people to return, as the government ramps up efforts to entice international investment and capitalise on the fragile Irish economic recovery.
Identifying around 200,000 people, Kenny said: ‘Emigration has a devastating impact on our economy as we lose the input of people, of talent and energy. We need these people at home. And we will welcome them. I believe that, after seven years of emigration, 2016 will be the year when the number of our people coming home will be greater than the numbers who leave.’